Why School Districts Should Hire CCMs for Capital Projects 

February 8, 2022

School District leadership must first and foremost keep their campus, students, and staff safe. Hiring a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) to help navigate the ever-changing codes and regulations specific to operating in this type of environment can lessen the stress and pressure for the project team. Any large, publicly-funded capital project also requires that taxpayer funds be properly allocated and recorded - a construction manager is a critical member of the management team responsible for ensuring that public funds are spent in accordance with current rules and standards. 

What is a Certified Construction Manager or CCM? 

Many programs specify what makes a construction manager a “CCM” but the most important considerations should include the following: 

  • 4-year degree from an accredited institution in a relevant field (construction, architecture, design, materials, economics, science, engineering) OR 5 years of equivalent on the job experience +  
  • 5 years of construction management experience as the person responsible and in charge of multiple large and complex projects, adherence to standards of practice in the construction industry, and construction management expertise in the Design and Construction Industry. 


Why hire a Certified Construction Manager (CCM)? 

From the Pre-Construction Phase, a Construction Manager is an essential key resource when working with Project Managers, Owners, and Building Committees, and communicating with architects, engineers, governing agencies, and contractors. Selecting a CM that has achieved certification (CCM) helps to ensure that Owners benefit from standards of leadership and professionalism that help save time, lower costs, maintain quality controls, and ensure safety. 

Benefits of hiring a Certified Construction Manager include: 

  1. Comprehensive Project Planning – From the early stages of a project, CCMs keep all key aspects of a construction project organized and moving forward and communicate phase status reports to district leadership so they may be informed and able to report back to the public. 
  2. Establishing and Tracking the Construction Budget - Crafting an accurate construction budget is critical to both the success of the project and the management of expectations. When required, the CCM will assist the management team with program and design decisions to make sure that the project solution meets the budget requirements. 
  3. Project Schedule Deliverables and Maintenance - CCMs establish a realistic completion calendar and hold the construction team accountable while also maintaining the flexibility to shift as necessary to stay on track. CCMs limit construction interruptions by monitoring the sequence, progress, and quality of work of all the contractors and keeping tabs on submittals to avoid delays - this includes overseeing the ordering process and anticipating potentially long lead times for the fabrication of certain goods as well as troubleshooting any issues that arise. 
  4. Maintain Quality Controls - CCMs prepare bid packages for various scopes of services during the pre-construction phase to limit gaps, overlaps, or ambiguities that could slow down the project. They review, analyze and negotiate change orders to minimize mid-project overruns and save on contracted costs to stay within budget. A CCM speaks the language of all project participants which limits conflicts and leads to faster resolution of disputes. 
  5. Project Safety Standards - CCMs create a culture of safety from upper construction management to frontline workers - they mandate safety training and consistent use of personal protective equipment which limits incidents that could potentially jeopardize workers and delay project completion. 
  6. Reduce Risks and Liabilities - CCMs design a risk management plan that monitors potential exposure from every direction: financial issues (cost overruns, uncontrolled change orders or unstable market pricing), unforeseen site conditions (hazardous materials, construction defects or accidents), personnel matters (human mistakes or unrealistic expectations) and even administrative and legal conflicts (contract or insurance disputes). These steps protect district liability by mitigating exposure to risks. 


Construction projects are complicated because there are many decisions and activities to coordinate, all of which have quality, cost and time considerations and consequences. The decision to hire a CCM is the most important protective measure that school district leadership can take to ensure the best project outcome, every time.  


Finding the right software to help navigate the challenges of a project is as important as finding the right CCM. MAAS and ForSitePro can help with both - contact us to learn more: 


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